It’s that time of the week again when we kick back with (or without) a cold one and reflect on the days past. The internet managed to score a victory this week by smacking down the SOPA/PIPA bills and iPhone 4S/iPad 2 users also have reason to cheer as they use a new untethered jailbreak to free their devices from some of Apple’s draconian restrictions. So hey, pretty good week, right? Let’s read on and find out what else is happening for this fabulous Friday, January 20, 2012.
This past April, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a donor-funded, nonprofit group of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists dedicated to defending consumer digital rights, launched a campaign called “Who Has Your Back”. The campaign called for thirteen top technology companies to sign a petition agreeing to to stand with their users in court and be transparent in their practices with regard to data demands and government requests.
Today the EFF announced that two more of those companies, Apple and Dropbox, have stepped up and joined the Digital Due Process coalition, and for that they both get a new gold star.
Like adopting a pet or purchasing a car, you might think that dropping the cash for pricey software means that you’re the sole owner of that one user license. But as we recently discovered ourselves, there is absolutely no truth to that. The reality of the matter is that your collection of software is more like your collection of DVDs—you pay for the right to use it as long as it’s in your possession, but the content and the software itself still belongs to the publisher. A recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit appeals court in Seattle supports this notion. The ruling states that you don’t really own software you’ve purchased if the company who published it says so in their user license.
While most developers won’t hesitate for a moment to sign Apple’s iPhone Developer Program License Agreement in blood to have even a piece of the App Store action, a new legal analysis reveals some disturbing reasons as to why you might want to think twice.